Size is a primary feature of living things. From the egg to adult, the various organs, tissues, cells, and subcellular structures that make up an organism achieve appropriate sizes so that they effectively fit and function together. The misregulation of this growth can lead to diseases such as cancer.
Written and edited by experts in the field, this collection from Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology examines our current understanding of the intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms that precisely regulate the sizes of biological structures so that they can function efficiently in their cellular, organismal, or ecological context. Contributors discuss the genetic, hormonal, and environmental inputs that trigger cells to grow, divide, or die, the various signaling pathways involved, and how these determine the final body size of an organism and the proportions of its component tissues and organs. Size-sensing mechanisms that enable cells to maintain their optimal sizes are reviewed, as are the scaling mechanisms that organelles use to adjust their sizes in response to changes in cell size. Examples from across the tree of life – from bacteria to humans – are provided.
The authors also describe the mysteries that still remain about cell size and its control, including the nature of the intriguing relationship between nuclear DNA content and cell size. Size Control in Biology will therefore be fascinating reading for all cell, developmental, and evolutionary biologists.
1. Size and Development
2. Subcellular Size
Wallace F. Marshall
3. Scaling Mechanisms
4. Brain Size/Intelligence—Amphibians
Gerhard Roth and Wolfgang Walkowiak
5. Cell Size
6. Cell Size and Complexity
7. Mathematics of Size
8. Animal Growth
9. Small RNAs and Genome Size
11. A Phyletic Perspective on Cell Growth
Karl J. Niklas
12. Amphibian Scaling Systems
Rebecca Heald and Dan Levy
13. Never-ending Growth and Regeneration
David Wake, Marvalee Wake, and Iswar Hariharan
14. Size & Microtubles
15. Size Control in Plants—Lessons from Leaves and Flowers
Hjördis Czesnick and Michael Lenhard
16. Genome Size
17. Bacteria Size
Petra Levin and Esther Angert
18. Morphogens and Organ Size: Drosophila
Kieran Harvey and Ken Irvine
19. Mechanical Forces and Growth in Animal Tissues
Loïc LeGoff and Thomas Lecuit
20. Organ Size Regulation in Mammals
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